Parliament Votes To Extend Private Copying Levy in Non-Binding Motion

The Liberals, NDP, and Bloc joined forces yesterday to support a non-binding motion that calls for the extension of the private copying levy to other media such as iPods.  The Conservatives, who have labeled the proposal the iTax, opposed the motion.


  1. Put copyright back to its original 20 years(and watch the level of infringement drop. Does it encourage Elvis or his daughter to create more?).

    Will we still need this tax now?

  2. Schultzter says:

    More reasons to shop in the USA
    With a strong dollar and so much more choice just an hour’s drive away, here’s another reason to shop in the USA!!!

  3. Captain Hook says:

    When was copyright ever 20 years?
    Point taken and agreed, but you betray a serious lack of knowledge when you quote such erroneous figures.

    “The private copying levy is distributed as per the Copyright Board’s allocation as: 66% to eligible authors and publishers,18.9% to eligible performers and 15.1% to eligible record companies.”

    Placing the levy on all digital storage mediums would be unreasonably broad. It would be nearly as pervasive as the GST in terms of scope. It would make more sense to place the levy on anything with a screen or speaker on it.

    I highly doubt a massive levy will successfully appease the big foreign record companies, who will continue to lobby for private judiciary powers in addition to private taxation powers.

    I am currently boycotting RIAA affiliated companies. I would very much like to avoid paying the levy, even if the the non-levy price was higher then the levied price.

    The original copyright term was 14 to 21 years if I read this article correctly.

  5. I work part time in retail electronics and most people are unaware of the ‘levy’ on recordable media such as CD’s and DVD’s. Many get outraged when told that the CD they are purchasing for their digital photo’s is subsidizing the music industry because it assumes we buy them to pirate music. The same would apply to iPods and similar devices (phones, mp3 players etc) that most of us use for legitimate purposes. This levy has got to stop but not be replaced by a more draconian ‘tax’ favouring the media industry.

  6. Enough already.

  7. Maupassant says:

    Here comes the era of players with no on-board memory, and an SD card slot. The player isn’t a player because it has no storage at all, and the SD card isn’t a player because it can’t play anything. Viola!

  8. Almost time for them to start talking about extending the levy to the next set of products.

  9. Captain Hook says:

    Would those be musical instruments or writing implements? Perhaps we should simply tax birth, considering how many songs we can store in the old grey matter.

  10. Can’t really tell, you need to wait for a new type of device to be commonly used to copyrighted play music, then find the largest set of products that share something in common with it and that will be the next set 🙂

  11. Or maybe it will be video next.. The next set of products could be things that produce or manipulate light.

  12. Think of all the mirrors creating unauthorized copies.

  13. I’ll take the levy over ACTA anyday….
    @Captain Hook – but increasing taxes in every aspect of life is the way we do it in Canada, no? /sarcasm

    This is another example of how disconnected our governments are with respect to copyright – instead of addressing the real issue (defining copyright and fair use in our digital world) our politicians prefer to use this issue as political leverage to appease the same corporate lobbyists that got us all into the mess in the first place.

    The Pirate Party just became official now too. I hope this issue finally leaves closed offices and internet forums to be discussed by actual citizens.

  14. original copyright term
    @Captain Hook
    The Statue of Queen Anne

    21 years

  15. Erm, StatuTe of Queen Anne
    freakin spell check…

  16. Captain Hook says:

    Thanks. I do believe it is simply called the Statute of Anne.

    THe 21 years was for works already in print when the statute went into force. 14 years for works produced later, and an additional 14 years if the author was still alive after the first term.

    no matter how you mix and match these numbers, they don’t equal 20.


  17. players with removable media

    Here comes the era of players with no on-board memory, and an SD card slot. The player isn’t a player because it has no storage at all, and the SD card isn’t a player because it can’t play anything. Viola!

    The Cowon D2 has been here for years. SD (16GB works well), video, photo, FM radio, mp3, ogg, microphone, TV out, touchscreen ……

  18. no levy on DVDs
    @Dean Owen
    Apparently people who work part time in retail electronics are unaware that recordable DVDs are not covered by the current levy, only CDs (and audio/video tape).

  19. I’ll remember to double check next time so I can be as accurate as the **AAs’.

  20. Short-sighted
    A private copying levy could work, but only if it indemnifies ALL non-commercial private copying, not just music, and the price has to be reasonable. It’s beyond absurd to charge a fixed levy on electronics that may very well exceed the cost of the device. I would have no problem paying an extra 1%, for example on hard drives and/or iPods, if it indemnifies me for private non-commercial copying. I would not be ok with paying 1% (or more) for each special interest group that screams loud enough however.

  21. @ikant
    Why should you even pay for “private non-commercial copying”? Why?

    When the neanderthals were painting Mammoths and they copied each others drawings and recorded their culture, did they pay a tax?

    If you record your kid dancing to a tune on the radio and put it on youtube or on your ipod, should you be paying a tax? Should you get a take-down notice for this?

    What is the difference?

    I won’t pay a tax to these thought police out of principle, even if i have to order something from Uganda or have it smuggled in like a drug, or bought off an Indian reserve like cigarettes.

    Do we need a tax for private use? No.

    Should the government of Harper of Mr. USA-Iggy make you pay for recording your kids dancing? This is basically what will happen.

    Would you have bought that tune you downloaded or recorded? No.

  22. levies
    The problems I see with the levy are two-fold:
    – it adds weight to the idea that I owe someone money for private use of media; that musicians (at least) are entitled to further compensation when someone who has paid for the use of media wants to use it for private use. I’m not sure how this idea got started, but it’s pretty ridiculous and I sure don’t want to see it gain any more steam.
    – private use isn’t one of the problems the *IAA claims is harming them anyway, adressing it will not help get them off our back.

  23. I Am Canadian
    I give an A+ to the HONOURABLE MP (and I never use that word for an MP) Angus for bringing the issues to light.

    Those following this, check out Howard Knopf’s blog here:

    F’n AAAA My captcha is: bill uncorked

  24. Time to stop the lobby
    It is sad to see that the opposition parties are buying the message delivered by the lobby of copyright collectives, who present themselves as the guardians of culture. What a joke !

    If this levy is accepted for the iPod, then they will go after the iPhone. And the iPad will be next.

  25. Re: Time to stop the lobby
    Agreed. As well, next in the sights will be the hard disk in the computer that I am typing this on, since it can be used to play music (the precedent is there; a blank CD is often not used to put music onto), packages of photocopier and writing paper, etc. Even if they aren’t covered by the current regime, why should print authors be discriminated against; in fact, I am surprised that a human rights complaint has yet to be launched on this.

    Of course, if we strictly apply the wording in C-499, most MP3 players will not be covered (“audio recording device” means a device that contains a permanently embedded data storage medium, including solid state or hard disk, designed, manufactured and advertised for the purpose of copying sound recordings, excluding any prescribed kind of recording device). About the only thing that I have at home that would be covered by this is a digital audio recorder that is built to record audio from meetings and presentations, since it has an audio input line and records to internal flash (since MP3 players themselves don’t perform the copy operation).